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Dine Smart

These are just a few examples of cross-cultural differences in dining etiquette. It is prudent to try and ascertain some facts about the dining etiquette of any country you plan to visit.

Cross-cultural Dining Etiquette Points To Consider

Seating: Is there a protocol as to who sits where? Should one wait to be seated? Is it acceptable etiquette for men/women to sit next to one another?

Eating: What utensils, if any, are used? For example, does one eat with a knife and fork, chopsticks or hands? Is there any etiquette on using them?

Body language: How should one sit? Is it bad etiquette to rest elbows on the table? If seated on the floor, what is the correct position?

Conversation: Is the meal the proper place to engage in conversation? If so, is discussing business appropriate?

The food: What foods are common? Is it good etiquette to compliment the cook, and how? Does one finish everything on the plate? Is it polite to ask for more?

Home/restaurant: What differences in etiquette or protocol would there be? Does one take a gift to the home? Who pays the bill at a restaurant?

Here Are Some Examples Of Dining Etiquette In Different Countries

Dining Etiquette In Germany

  • It is good etiquette to remain standing until you are shown where to sit.
  • Table manners are Continental - fork in left hand and knife in right.
  • Do not begin eating until the host signals to do so.
  • It is bad etiquette to rest your elbows on the table.
  • Try and cut the food with the fork, as it compliments the cook by showing that the food is tender.
  • Everything should be eaten on the plate.
  • Indicate you have finished by placing the fork and knife parallel across the right hand side of the plate.

Dining Etiquette In Japan

  • An honored guest sits at the centre of the table farthest from the door, and begins eating first.
  • Learn to use chopsticks - do not point them at people and do not pierce food with them. Rest them on the chopstick rest when breaking for drink or chat.
  • :It is good etiquette to try a bit of everything.
  • Conversation is subdued.

Dining Etiquette In Turkey

  • Meals are a social affair. Conversations are animated and loud.
  • The head of the family or honored guest is served first.
  • It is good etiquette to insist the most senior person is served first instead of you.
  • Asking for more food is a compliment.
  • If taken to a restaurant, Turkish dining etiquette has strict rules that the one who extends the invitation must pay.

Dining Etiquette In United States

  • The fork is held in the right hand and is used for eating.
  • To use the knife, the fork is switched to the left hand. To continue eating, the fork is witched back to the right hand.
  • If you are more comfortable eating in the Continental manner, it will not offend anyone.
  • Food or drinks can be refused without causing offence.
  • Many types of food can be eaten by hand.

Dining Etiquette In Middle East

  • Guests are honored with the prime choice of meats - such as the head and eyes.
  • Food is to be eaten with the right hand only.
  • Meat is torn by holding down the piece against the dish and ripping off a desired amount with forefinger and thumb pressed together.
  • Rice is to be scooped up. l". Do not be afraid of making a mess.
  • If you have finished, leave some food on your plate - otherwise, the plate will be filled up immediately.
  • It is proper etiquette to compliment the host on the food and his hospitality.

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